Consistency is a character trait that can be developed and built.
Consistency can be defined as the quality of always behaving or performing in a similar way. Basically doing the same thing over and over again.
Considering we’re creatures of habit, chances are you are probably already consistent in many things.
You may consistently hit the snooze button, order a 400 calorie coffee every morning, turn on the news daily, grab the same lunch at 1 pm, watch the same tv shows every evening, and so on.
But what about consistency with working out? Eating healthy foods? Working on your side hustle? Waking up early? The action steps to reach your big goal?
You are already consistent, but in the wrong things.
They say consistency is key, but if you’re consistent in poor habits you will regress and/or remain complacent.
Consistency in healthy, positive habits will lead to the progress you desire.
Why you struggle with consistency
Consistency in bad habits is easy. Bad habits feel good in the moment. They give us instant gratification.
For example, hitting the snooze button allows you to go right back to sleep. You get to stay in the comforts of your warm, cozy bed even if it’s just 10 minutes.
On the other hand, waking up right when the alarm goes off is tough. You have to push through the discomfort and immediately shift from sleeping mode to awake.
Consistency in good habits is difficult because they don’t usually feel good in the moment. The results take longer to experience.
The first difference here is comfort and discomfort.
The brain doesn’t want to be uncomfortable, so it will trick you into doing the same comfortable things over and over again, even if they’re bad.
The second difference here are the results you experience.
You can be consistent in ordering your high calorie coffee and tv shows because the result is instant. You get to taste the sugary goodness and be entertained respectively.
If you’re trying to build a successful side hustle or business, you have to show up over and over again for weeks, months, even years before you see results.
Most people won’t keep showing up because they’re too focused on the outcome and that outcome is taking too long.
But if you really want something worth having (a healthy body, a successful business, healthy routines, etc.) you can develop the trait of consistency in those areas.
Recognize this will suck, and commit
Doing hard things will make your life better. But doing hard things will also suck.
At first, you’ll feel motivated and driven to show up. That wears off.
Eventually, 9 times out of 10 you won’t want to work out. You won’t want to write. You won’t want to market your work. You won’t want to cook a healthy meal.
But if you go into this knowing that and you commit anyway, you’ll just do it.
The good news is that with time (and consistency) the hard things get easier.
Accept that results take time
I’ve already touched on this, but don’t expect to see results within a week or two.
Dedication, consistency, and patience are going to get you where you want to be.
Just keep showing up.
I find that working hard for something is more rewarding once you achieve it anyway.
Focus on small improvements
Consistency doesn’t mean you have to go all in right away.
Start small by committing to simple things you will do daily or the same day/time each week.
For example, you could take a 15 minute walk everyday or spend 2 hours on your side hustle every Friday and Saturday.
The key here is not to break the consistency. Therefore you need to make your commitments something you will 100% follow through on.
And even on the days where you’re feeling less than motivated, still show up.
If you were supposed to workout for an hour, at least go for a walk or do 5 minutes of abs.
If you were supposed to write a blog post just write a sentence or two.
Sometimes you’ll keep going, but what this is really doing is training you to stick to the habit.
Consistency is a lot easier when you have a plan.
When you have an understanding of where things are, what needs to be done and when, you’ll reduce overwhelm and the urge to not follow through.
Lay out your workout clothes the night before, publish your video/blog post/photos on the same days each week, plan out what body part or workouts you’re going to do each day.
When things are laid out it’s a lot easier to follow through and stick to a routine.
No one is perfect. Obviously there will be days you get off track.
When working on becoming consistent you’ll experience a lot of setbacks and/or off days. Even once you are consistent you’ll still have those days.
Consistency is not about perfection, and I think that’s where a lot of people mess up.
Many people will miss a workout or miss a post and completely give up because it wasn’t perfect.
But the key is to show up MOST of the time and to recover quickly.
If you go days/weeks without being consistent, then you are no longer consistent. So it’s ideal for you to get back on track within a day or two.
RELATED POST: How to Get Back on Track
Regularly remind yourself of your goals
Sometimes we need to remind ourselves why we’re doing what we’re doing.
Consistency can start to get boring and/or discouraging if you’re not seeing progress yet. If you regularly remind yourself of your goals you will be more likely to keep going.
Write them down again, read them aloud, visualize what it is that you want.
Hold yourself accountable
You are the only person responsible for what you do.
Hold yourself accountable.
Your choices may affect other people in your life, but the largest effect will be on yourself.
Not staying consistent with your health, business, or personal development will only sabotage your body and mental state. You may lose confidence and trust in your abilities.
You are in control here.
I do truly believe that anything worth having require dedication and consistency.
Through it you can achieve many things.